Poldark star Eleanor Tomlinson is keen to put her Demelza character behind her and get more meatier female roles.

Next up for her is a BBC adaptation of HG Wells' The War Of The Worlds. And although it's set in the Edwardian era - where wives were expected to be dutiful - she plays a strong woman in a female-led version of the classic sci-fi novel.

Tomlinson believes that female roles need to have more depth than was previously acceptable on screen, and must do more than play the 'damsel in distress' waiting to be rescued by male leads.

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She said: "I think nowadays even jobs that I've done, I think you would struggle to make now having the women be so helpless - unless they're historical, that's a different thing.

"I think you need women to be able to have a personality other than to just be the damsel in distress, it's important."

Tomlinson stars in the upcoming The War Of The Worlds, which sees a woman take a lead role as Earth is invaded by aliens, in a change from the original story.

The actress has been hands-on in her approach to the action and adventure in the part, and is happy to launch into a new challenge, although she is grateful that people know and appreciate her role of Demelza in Poldark.

Eleanor Tomlinson with Aidan Turner in Poldark

She said: "I'm trying my best to force it to change. I'm trying to get as many different roles as I can under my belt, different characters, different periods. I don't want to be pigeonholed.

"I am so flattered to be known as Demelza and that's so wonderful, I'm so grateful for it, and I love that fact that I have that behind me and I can walk into a room and people may have seen it."

Tomlinson stars alongside Rafe Spall, Robert Carlyle and Rupert Graves in the upcoming BBC adaptation.

She became star-struck on set around Trainspotting star Carlyle, saying: "I was really nervous, I'm such a fan, but I just loved him. He's just so nice and such a brilliant actor."

The War Of The Worlds begins Sunday November 17 on BBC One.